Every Saturday at 9:00am thousands of people, worldwide, flock to their local parks to participate in a weekly, timed, and free 5k run, organised by Parkrun and run solely by volunteers.

 Parkrun was originally set up in 2004 in Bushy Park, Teddington and has recently expanded to over 1,150 in the UK alone, with one of the most recent start-ups being in Leavesden Park, Watford. There are currently 234,622 registered Parkrunners as of October 2022.

Parkruns main aims are to bring together communities and offer a warm and welcoming environment for not only runners but walkers as well!

Each week volunteers also flood to the scene and play a huge role in getting the course ready for the runners to enjoy. When asked about her role in Parkrun, avid volunteer and runner Katerina Fellas stated that “I love the responsibilities given to me each week, from telling people about the course to coordinating what jobs each volunteers are handed, it makes me feel so much more involved in the community”. She continued, “I feel as though I’m growing as a person, accomplishing new things week after week…Parkrun is extremely socially engaging”.

But the benefits are not just for the volunteers as through running Katerina stated that “[she has] met many people from contrasting backgrounds, parkrun is all common ground for us”. Further adding “The physical and mental benefits from parkrun are astonishing”.

Gary Howard, who is a local Parkrunner, completed his 250th run at the first Leavesden event. He remarked that the course was “Challenging but rewarding... lovely people and a lovely route”. Further stating that “The route is fairly relaxing… I will definitely be back again”

A number of runners also remarked that they really enjoy everything that parkrun stands for, from the courses themselves to what the local communities are able to offer.